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Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute

Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute

Who We Are

The Jacobs Institute fosters radical experimentation at the intersection of research, education, and entrepreneurship. Established jointly by Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, our mission is to transform key industries through technological innovation, deep-tech startups, and uniquely skilled talent.

Our approach emphasizes a transdisciplinary view of science that organizes our research and graduate programs around a set of industry-focused “hubs” that address contemporary social and economic needs.

The global partnership between the Technion and Cornell gives the Jacobs Institute a unique cross-cultural awareness that expands the educational and experiential scope of the faculty, students, and postdocs that it attracts. Our degree programs are designed to take on complex, real-world challenges through interdisciplinary, domain-focused work. Likewise, a postdoc program gives PhD graduates the opportunity to apply their knowledge as they lead teams and build companies in industries critical to the 21st century.

How We Evolved

In 2010, the City of New York issued a competition for institutions around the world to propose a new applied sciences and engineering campus in New York City as a way to expedite the growth of NYC’s tech sector. Cornell University and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology jointly submitted a proposal, as did 27 other institutions from eight countries. 

In 2011, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced the Cornell/Technion consortium as the winner of the competition. The winning proposal outlined plans to establish a new entity, Cornell Tech, comprised of a new campus on Roosevelt Island in Manhattan, several innovative graduate programs in the applied sciences — and the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute. This early iteration of the Jacobs Institute created an academic partnership between Cornell and the Technion intended to directly foster technological innovation in key New York City industries.

In 2013, Dr. Irwin Mark Jacobs, Founding Chairman and CEO Emeritus of Qualcomm, and his wife, Joan Klein Jacobs, announced a $133 million gift to expand and rename the Technion-Cornell Innovation Institute as the Joan & Irwin Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute. 

“We are delighted to partner with Cornell and the Technion on this unique educational initiative,” said Joan and Irwin Jacobs, upon making their transformative gift. “We believe strongly in the mission of this international collaboration to drive innovation and to foster economic development. We are proud of our long association with both of these distinguished institutions and share their dedication to inspire and train a next generation of entrepreneurs, forming new companies and strengthening existing ones including, of course, Qualcomm.”

Since its founding, the Jacobs Institute has incubated more than 25 new startup companies which have filed 21 patent applications and secured more than $40 million in private funding. 84% of these companies are still operating and, in aggregate, they employ above 170 employees. All companies operate in New York City. 

  • Deborah Estrin and Emmanuel Dumont having a conversation
  • 3 people standing together and talking

What Are Hubs?

To accelerate technology “pull” in New York City, the Jacobs Institute organizes academic activity around industry-centric, interdisciplinary hubs. These hubs contain faculty and programming that spans the areas of expertise required to drive technology in a particular sector of the city’s economy.
Connective Media illustration

Connective Media

Successful connective media platforms—such as Facebook, Reddit, The New York Times, and Uber—merge social science, information science, computer science, and engineering to change not just the way society uses technology, but the very fabric of society itself. New York City is the perfect laboratory for studying and improving connective media platforms and devices, with its high concentration of users and the growth of its burgeoning young technology sector.

Health Tech illustration

Health Tech

Research and programs in this hub focuses on developing promising technologies that address issues driving healthcare costs up or quality of services down. Activities fall under three broad themes: technologies to promote healthier living; healthcare information systems; and technologies to improve medical monitoring and diagnosis.

Urban Tech

This hub touches on several components of the built environment: building design and operation, city planning, transportation systems, and energy and power systems. Subsequently, research and technologies developed by students and faculty will call for a new kind of engineering—one that integrates the various disciplines not only with one another but also links the engineering perspective with architectural design and urban planning.

About Jacobs

Our People

Pioneers pushing the boundaries of academia.